Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3, Episode 10

The Defector (1 Jan. 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 843 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 6 critic

When a Romulan officer defects to the Federation with a warning of a impending invasion, Capt. Picard struggles to decide if he is to be believed.



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Title: The Defector (01 Jan 1990)

The Defector (01 Jan 1990) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Episode cast overview:
Wesley Crusher (credit only)
John Hancock ...
John Bates (as S.A. Templeman)


Data was discovering the human condition by Shakespearian acting, when Picard gets informed a craft entered the Neutral Zone. It's identified as a Romulan scout, which claims to need urgently asylum from a persecutor. The wounded Setol gets it, and warns the Romulans nearly finished building a base on a planet in the Neutral Zone, in order to occupy it and from there strike 15 neighboring Federation zones with a fleet of war birds, which would mean another full war, but still remains rather defensive, at times hostile. Commander Riker and counselor Troi are charged with questioning him further, in case it's a ploy to lure them into the zone as a war pretext. The admiralty refuses the Empire's demand to return the defector, and orders Picard to find out if the threat is real. After technological means came to contradictory conclusions, Setol discloses his real identity, and that's not the last surprising twist... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

1 January 1990 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Episode begins with Data rehearsing a scene from William Shakespeare's Henry V, while being watched by Jean-Luc Picard, played by Patrick Stewart. In the play scene the part of Williams (being acted by a holodeck construct) is also played by Patrick Stewart under heavy makeup. It is notable that only Bates, the one other character in the scene, is credited at the end of the episode. See more »


In Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Enemy, the Enterprise had a visual conversation with a Romulan ship that was over "6 hours away" from the Enterprise. But in the beginning of this episode Lt. Worf states that the scout ship is too far out of range for a visual conversation, even though within a few moments the ship is within visual range and even able to put their shields around it. See more »


Admiral Jarok: [as Setal] This. This is my home now, my future. I have sacrificed everything. It must not be in vain. Arrange a meeting between myself and Captain Picard. Tell him Admiral Jarok wants to see him.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

One of the best episodes
20 December 2013 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

I 'accidentally' watched this episode long before I became a Star Trek fan (my ex-girlfriend had lived in Seattle for 6 years and promptly introduced me to it several years later). I came home from a night on the town at maybe 3 AM, which was the time these reruns were shown on Norwegian TV back in the early 90's.

I was gripped by the story of this episode, but more importantly the acting. This was the first thing I had seen featuring Patrick Stewart, and I thought he was amazing along with guest star James Sloyan, and I was wondering why this show didn't air in the daytime/prime-time so that everyone could see it.

Norway has never been known to show sci-fi during prime-time though, and most Norwegians that admit to liking it are kind of cast-outs and are not taken seriously in other matters if they admit it. It's not like in the USA where even presidents admit to know of and even quote Kirk and Spock and even name space shuttles after it.

Anyway, since then I've watched every Star Trek episode (except TOS. Too dated for my taste) and movies (movies with the TOS cast are great) several times, but this still stands out as one of the best installments in any Star Trek media that I know of so far, mainly because of the acting.

And the best thing with this episode: Riker (Jonathan Frakes, the worst actor in Star Trek history, in my humble opinion) does not do any of his annoying moves:

  • His left eyebrow lowered when he attempts to look 'mean'.

  • His head cocking to one side when he's puzzled by something.

  • His stumbling, tilted moves when he pretends to look tough in action

scenes (imitating John Wayne or some other action hero from the 50's)

  • His exaggerated speech when he pretends to be in distress

("Aaannyboodyyyyy!" taken from the first episode of TNG)

  • His over-acting in general.

In this episode he actually appears normal and professional, just like the other actors.

My first impression of this episode back in the beginning of the 90's or something when I had been out on town was maybe infused by alcohol, but I just saw the episode again now, and I stand by it.

Highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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